Man-Bat (Albino) (Comic Con)
DC Super Heroes (Mattel) - Exclusives
Way, way back at Toyfair ’07, fans of Mattel’s DC Superheroes line were given a treat to two of the most anticipated figures in the line: Clayface and Man-Bat, and in April, we were shown pictures of the cardbacks featuring the figures and a few others. Of course, the more time went on, the more things changed. In the Clayface wave, re-releases from overseas were featured: Bruce to Batman, Nightwing, and the Joker were added in as a substitute for Man-Bat, who became a San Diego Comic Con exclusive.
Dr. Kirk Langstrom, a scientist specializing in the study of bats, develops an extract intended to give humans the bat's Sonar sense and tests the formula on himself because he is becoming deaf. While it works, it has a horrible side effect: it transforms him gradually into a hideous humanoid bat-like monster.
Now, if your wondering why he’s white and not brown furred, you’re not alone. When first shown at Toyfair in 2-up form, he was brown. A good rumor is that is was based on The Batman animated series version, or that he was painted that way to stand out in the packaging. The latter is probably more accurate, given that brown would be all too invisible in there.
However you like your bats, you’ve got to admit they knocked him out of the park with sculpting and painting. His skin has a nice leathery texture, and his hair is sculpted beautifully. The arms and wings have veins running down them, and his teeth and nails are all vicious. The pants have rips and tears in them, along with pockets, a zipper, and even some overhang (the part after the loop) on the belt. All of that is highlighted by a fantastic paint job. The veins are paint a subtle gray, and the hair is given a nice wash. The pants have a wash too, but it passes “nice” and goes all the way to “flippn’ sweet!”. The figure proves Mattel can do paint jobs as good (or even better than) Toybiz/Marvel Toys, who ushered in the six-inch scale. How? There is no slop, no splatter, and most importantly, no blue wash on the white.
There is one part of the figure that isn’t plastic: the big clump of hair in his back. Actually, it was molded in plastic, then covered with the fuzz, and so far, he has be mostly shed-less, with only the very tips of the hair falling off.
The wings are molded in the same stuff as the DCSH/DCUC capes, which is both good and bad. Good because it’s nice and lightweight, but can still hold good details (those are some DEEP cuts, folks). Bad because its bends like no other. I rarely have him displayed without his arms bent at the elbow, simply because having them straight down will result in major bendage. I don’t know if you can tell in the pics, but I’m never having them straight down again. I will admit, it’s beter than the cloth they used for the animated figure.
Man-Bat features 19 points of articulation, with ball jointed neck, shoulders and wrists, peg biceps, waist, and hips, and hinged elbows, torso, knees and ankles. It’s all nice and tight, with no loose or stuck joints. However, the biceps have cause for alarm. Right before being inserted into the arm, they get thin. Like, really thin. “Gonna tear after moving twice” thin. While I haven’t had any problems, I’ve been cautious. Whenever moving the shoulder joint, grab by the ball instead of further down the arm, and you shouldn’t have too many problems. Also, the figure would have been immensely better with thigh joints and a jaw, but this is fine until I learn to add articulation.
As for accessories, he comes with his packaging. For any regular figure, this would cause most people to chuckle, but come on! This is a Mattel SDCC exclusive! You know they had to be doing something special. The figure is boxed inside of some bigger wings (upside-down, of course), with the entire back of the box flocked in some nice fuzz (they need to make a pillow out of that…). Open it up, and you’re greeted by one of two screeches, which can be heard by the deaf. Seriously, they’re loud as all hell. When I was opening it for the first time, my dogs began barking after the screech. Once you get your eardrum back and re-arranged, you are greeted by some images of Batgirl and Batman (the latter of the figures released as the 2003 exclusive), done in infrared. There are also some backlights, which warranted a clear variant that no one but scalpers wanted. That box is put inside an outer box (don’t ask why, just enjoy the fact that it is), with some scratches on the side. There’s a big padlock (fortunately, it’s just closed with a tab), and a fax from Lucius Fox. It looks like a real faxed document, with the only evidence of it not being one is the DC logo in the lower-right corner.
All in all, the figure is a good one, but a bit disappointing for an exclusive. If you missed out, Mattel is re-releasing him next year as part of DCUC, with brown fur instead of white (I’m also assuming his back won’t be flocked). If you can get him online for a decent price, I’d say go for it, you can’t beat that packaging, and it’s an interesting color choice.